Hispanic golf star and positive role model Nancy Lopez (1957-) was born on this day in Torrance, California. She learned the game from her father and received her first set of clubs at age eight. She soon won state tournaments and joined the boys' golf team at school.
"A competitor will find a way to win," she once said. "Competitors take bad breaks and use them to drive themselves just that much harder."
Known for her upbeat personality and dynamic shot making, Lopez turned pro in 1977 and was named "Rookie of the Year." In 1978, she won nine tournaments, including a record-setting five in a row.
A four-time LPGA Player of the Year (1978-79,1985,1988), Lopez was named to the Hall of Fame by age 30, the youngest-ever inductee. She tallied 35 victories and 48 career wins.
"The simpler I keep things, the better I play," said the influential athlete who wowed fans with her competitive spirit.
Married to former New York Mets baseball star Ray Knight, the popular and charismatic Lopez helped transform women's golf into a major sport. She was a press favorite. Her fans mobbed her for autographs and called themselves "Nancy's Navy" just as Arnold Palmer's fans were dubbed "Arnold's Army."
"Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere," she observed. "But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever."
More GOLF Quotations
Go for the challenge and shine.